Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday categorized President Biden’s quickly notorious Armageddon comment regarding the nuclear risk posed by Russia as “reckless” and demonstrating “maybe one of the greatest foreign policy failures of the last decades.”
“Oh my goodness. First of all those comments were reckless. I think that even more importantly, they demonstrate maybe one of the greatest foreign policy failures of the last decades, which was the failure to deter Vladimir Putin in the same way that the Trump administration did for four years,” Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream.
“When you hear the president talking about Armageddon at a random — as a random thought just musing at a fundraiser that is a terrible risk to the American people if he truly believes that he ought to be out talking to us in a serious way,” Pompeo added.
Biden, speaking at a Democratic fundraising event Thursday night, veered into talk about Ukraine, saying that Putin was “not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons.”
WHITE HOUSE DEFENDS BIDEN’S ‘ARMAGEDDON’ COMMENT, SAYS NO INDICATION RUSSIA PREPARING TO USE NUCLEAR WEAPONS
President Joe Biden speaks at the Volvo Group Powertrain Operations in Hagerstown, Md., Friday, Oct. 7, 2022.
(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
“We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” he added. He suggested the threat from Putin is real “because his military is — you might say — significantly underperforming.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Friday did not directly respond to a question about whether Biden had gone into the event intending to invoke Armageddon, as the White House sought to clarify the president’s off-the-cuff comments.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting on economic issues via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.
(Gavriil Grigorov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
She told reporters: “Russia’s talk of using nuclear weapons is irresponsible, and there’s no way to use them without unintended consequences. It cannot happen.” She added that “if the Cuban missile crisis has taught us anything, it is the value of reducing nuclear risk and not brandishing it.”
Pompeo, during his appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” also reacted to Saturday’s explosion that caused the partial collapse of a bridge linking the Crimean Peninsula with Russia, damaging an important supply artery for the Kremlin’s war effort. Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, which killed three.
Mike Pompeo, former U.S. Secretary of State, attends the 48th edition of Economic Forum of Cernobbio on September 2, 2022, in Cernobbio, Italy.
(Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
“My guess is that the Ukrainians had something to do with it, but we’ll have to wait and see how that unfolds. We do know for sure that this is humiliating for Vladimir Putin,” Pompeo said. “He built this bridge, I remember the pictures of him driving across it — It was one of their great achievements. I think it was 2018 when that bridge was built, so it’s nearly brand new and to watch it in flames, to watch the rest of the supply lines out of Crimea into southern Ukraine at risk is certainly something that is a game changer on the ground in Ukraine. As Trey reported this morning, Ukrainians are doing phenomenal work of liberating town after town after town and the Russian military is failing desperately.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.